San Miguel Brewery told: Comply with public float rule or get delisted
The Securities and Exchange Commission denies all of San Miguel Brewery's requests for an extension of the grace period to comply with the Philippine Stock Exchange's (PSE) 10% public float rule.

MANILA, Philippines – Securities regulators have begun to move against firms that fall short of the 10% minimum public ownership (MPO) rule.

Beer maker San Miguel Brewery Inc. said Monday, December 17, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “denied all requests for extension of the grace period to comply with the MPO rule of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).”

This means trading in the company will be suspended starting next year if it fails to comply with the rule by December 31.

The suspension will run from January 1 to June 30, 2013. 

If after the 6-month period San Miguel Brewery remains non-compliant, its shares will finally be delisted from the PSE.

Aside from possible delisting, transactions involving San Miguel Brewery shares are at risk of being slapped with capital gains and documentary stamp taxes beginning next year.

The capital gains tax is 5% for transactions amounting to P100,000 and below, and 10% for transactions exceeding the amount. The documentary stamp tax is P0.75 for each P200 of the par value of the stock.

At present, share sales in the stock market are exempted from these taxes, and are levied only a stock transaction tax of ½ of 1% of the gross selling price of the shares pursuant to Section 127(A) of the National Internal Revenue Code.

The PSE earlier issued a memorandum, giving non-compliant firms until end-2012 to meet the MPO rule, which aims to ensure that sufficient liquidity exists in the market.

In an announcement on December 7, the PSE listed down 25 publicly traded companies that do not meet the rule.

Among these companies, First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) have obtained the approval of the PSE’s board of directors to voluntarily delist their shares.

Trading in their stocks will be suspended effective December 18, Tuesday and their shares will be delisted effective December 21, Friday.

Before FMIC and MPTC, 4 companies also voluntarily delisted from the PSE, namely, Alaska Corp., Chinatrust Phils Commercial Banking Corp., Keppel Philippines Marine Inc., and PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures Inc. –